A 100 degree tall, wide field of view image of the Orion Constellation (“The Hunter”) high above Little Cove, Noosa Heads, Queensland. This single photo was taken at 04:27 on 30/9/2014.
The northeast facing, 30-second exposure allowed the foreground to be illuminated by the lights of Noosa Heads. I was amazed how the very low level lighting that lines the path that leads to the Noosa National Park, glowed with an other worldly light. Aligning this green glow so that it reflected off the wet sand at low tide doubled the effect.
Orion is high in the sky. It is one of the most famous and easily recognised constellations. As it lies near the celestial equator it can be seen throughout the world. Many know the central part of Orion as “The Pot”, with the 3 stars of the hunters belt forming the base of the pot and the 3 stars of his sword region, forming the pots handle. If you look closely at the sword region (the handle), you will see the centre star is fuzzy. It is fuzzy because it isn’t a star; it is a huge star-forming region, the Great Orion Nebulae (click to see image).
Below the pot the orange star Betelgeuse marks one of the hunters shoulders. This is one of the biggest stars in the sky, a red supergiant and if it replaced our sun, its surface would extend out to Jupiter!
Rigel is the bright star at the top of the image and is one of the hunters feet. It is also a huge star, a blue supergiant.
Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, is to the right of Orion.
Aldebaran is the orange star near the left edge of the image, at the same height as Betelguese, is the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus. It is another giant and again one of the brightest stars in the sky.
I always aim to balance the exposure and gentle processing to try to maintain the relative brightness of stars and their natural colours rather than oversaturating the Milky Way, which can look unnatural.
A single 30-sec exposure, ISO3200, F2.8.
Canon 6D. Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm. Standard tripod. Shutter release.
Adobe Lightroom 5. Topaz Denoise.